FIFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against Mexico’s soccer federation after Mexican fans shouted an anti-gay slur in unison during their country’s 1-0 win over Germany.
Soccer fans in Mexico, as well as those in some other Latin American countries, have a so-called “tradition” of yelling the Spanish word “puto” while an opposing goalkeeper takes a goal kick.
FIFA has warned them, fined the federation and told them to stop.
But the chant was heard loud and clear during Mexico’s 2018 World Cup opener on Sunday as German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer approached the ball to take a goal kick.
The controversy surrounding the word is largely based on the fact that it has multiple meanings.
One of those meanings equates to a three-letter English anti-gay slang word.
That’s why it is offensive, and constitutes discriminatory language that is punishable by FIFA.
It also can mean “man whore” or “coward.”
Simply yelling “Coward!” at a goalkeeper, of course, wouldn’t be cause for punishment.
But given the multiple meanings, there is a clear anti-gay implication.
The minimum fine in such instances is roughly $30,000.
That’s likely what Mexico’s federation will get.
FIFA has the option to impose stadium bans or point deductions, or even expel a team from a competition.
But it has never shown itself to be serious about policing homophobia, so it will likely just hit Mexico with the small fine.